Study shows consumption of ultra processed food contributes to premature deaths

According to the findings of recent research, there is an “alarming” correlation between the increasing intake of highly processed foods like sliced white bread and sugary soft drinks and the occurrence of premature deaths.

The study shows that over 10% of the premature deaths are attributed to increased consumption of highly processed foods.

According to the findings of the study that was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, ultra-processed foods were responsible for approximately 57,000 premature deaths in 2019 in South America alone.

“To our knowledge, no study to date has estimated the potential impact of UPFs on premature deaths. Knowing the deaths attributable to the consumption of these foods and modeling how changes in dietary patterns can support more effective food policies might prevent disease and premature deaths,” study co-author Dr. Eduardo Nilson said.

The ultra-processed foods that are commonly consumed in modern diets include products like packaged baked snacks, ready-to-eat meals, frozen pizza, sugary drinks, and cereals. However, a growing number of studies have linked these foods to a variety of undesirable health conditions, such as obesity, dementia, and cancer.

In addition to this, researchers have shown that UPFs are deficient in protein and fiber while being rich in added sugar, fat, and salt.

According to Dr. Nilson’s explanation, “Consumption of UPFs is associated with many disease outcomes, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other diseases, and it represents a significant cause of preventable and premature deaths among Brazilian adults.”

The effect of these foods would be significantly higher in high-income nations like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, where UPFs account for more than 50% of total calorie consumption.

A number of different initiatives and public health measures would be required to bring down the soaring consumption of UPFs all over the globe. These measures include strategies to increase consumer understanding, attitudes, and behavior, as well as fiscal and regulatory policies for modifying food environments and enhancing the implementation of food-based dietary guidelines.

Marco Harmon

I was born and raised in Roanoke, VA. I studied Communications Studies at Roanoke College, and I’ve been part of the news industry ever since. Visiting my favorite downtown Roanoke bars and restaurants with my friends is how I spend most of my free time when I'm not at the desk.

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